Boston Red Sox

Sox still have a shot at their worst record in 47 years

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Sox still have a shot at their worst record in 47 years

A few weeks back, I wrote a post about the Red Sox' furious push to avoid finishing this season with the worst record of any Sox team in nearly 50 years.

And, it's time for an update.

When we last left Bobby's Boys, they had 24 games left, and 63 wins to their name. That was one better than 1965 Sox who finished with 62.

A year later, Boston finished with 72 wins, and in the 46 years since, no Sox team has eclipsed that level of ineptitude with Butch Hobson's '92 squad and their 73 wins coming the closest. That brings us back to 2012, and the race that's sure to captivate a nation (or much more likely, be forgotten the moment you're done reading this post).

As of today, the Sox stand (actually, let's call it "sit") at 67-81. That leaves them seven short of the '92 team, which means . . . scrambling for a calculator . . . that Boston needs seven wins over their last 14 games to avoid stamping an unenviable place in Red Sox history. That's .500 ball. Can they do it?

That I'm even asking the question is a sure sign of just how pathetic things have become.

That they're most likely going to fall short? A much surer sign.

Listen, the Sox would have trouble winning seven of 14 games against the Royals, Astros and Birmingham Barons. In reality, they're up against the Rays, Orioles and Yankees. That's three teams in the heat of a playoff race with records that are a combined 48 games over .500.

On one hand, maybe the idea of playing spoiler can light a fire under Boston's ass. But when you consider that a few months ago, the idea of winning a World Series wasn't enough to get these guys going and that they're currently trotting out the "weakest September roster in baseball history," something tells me that Hobson, Bob Zupcic, Luis Rivera and the rest of the '92 Sox might want to put some champagne on ice.

Rich can be reached at rlevine@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Rich on Twitter at http:twitter.comrich_levine

MLB umpires end protest, will meet with Manfred

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MLB umpires end protest, will meet with Manfred

NEW YORK -- Major League Baseball umpires have ended their protest of what they called "abusive player behavior" after Commissioner Rob Manfred offered to meet with their union's governing board.

Most umpires wore white wristbands during Saturday's games after Detroit second baseman Ian Kinsler was fined but not suspended for his recent verbal tirade against ump Angel Hernandez. Kinsler said Tuesday that Hernandez was a bad umpire and "just needs to go away."

The World Umpires Association announced Sunday in a series of tweets that Manfred had proposed a meeting to discuss its concerns.

"To demonstrate our good faith, MLB Umpires will remove the protest white wrist bands pending the requested meeting," the organization posted on Twitter.

Kinsler was ejected by Hernandez last Monday in Texas after being called out on strikes. The next day, Kinsler sharply criticized Hernandez, saying the umpire was "messing" with games "blatantly."

"No, I'm surprised at how bad an umpire he is. ... I don't know how, for as many years he's been in the league, that he can be that bad. He needs to re-evaluate his career choice, he really does. Bottom line," Kinsler said.

Kinsler was fined, but the umpires' union felt he should have been suspended.

"The Office of the Commissioner's lenient treatment to abusive player behavior sends the wrong message to players and managers. It's `open season' on umpires, and that's bad for the game," the WUA said in a release on Saturday.